At the Nature News blog, Barbara Casassus says that "fallout from the economic crisis continues to cast a pall over the French life-science sector." The number of new firms formed in the country fell 47.8 percent — from 46 to 24 — between 2010 and 2011, and company closures jumped from five in 2008 to 25 in 2011 — an increase of 400 percent — Casassus reports.
In a recent Nature Biotechnology feature, Brady Huggett says that while "the private biotech sector has contracted slightly in recent years," the observed squeeze appears to be "due to attrition in existing privately held companies, rather than to a decline in the number of biotech ventures founded or a big jump in exits." Huggett adds that while funding has tightened, returns on investments made in the industry have risen. "In 2010, the internal rate of return for investments in biotech, biopharma, and R&D was the highest on record since 1999, according to Cambridge Associates, even as the number of healthcare companies invested in was at its lowest since before the genomics bubble," he reports.